Thursday, December 31, 2009

GOP On The Prowl Picks Napolitano As New Target While Security Failures Outside The U.S. Were The Cause In Detroit

Janet Napolitano has become the latest target by conservatives for a statement she had made after the attempted attack on an airliner in Detroit. The statement in question was taken after the attempted attack where Napolitano said "the system worked," but later she added that her comments were taken out of context and that she was describing the coordination of efforts after the failure that allowed the bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, to make it as far as he did. The attack on her comments are reminiscent of the attack on John McCain during the presidential campaign, where he said the economy was "fundamentally sound." The only difference I can see is that one statement was made during a crisis while the other after one, and I would have to say that I agree with Napolitano. Tom Kean, the former Republican governor of New Jersey and co-chairman of the independent commission that investigated September 11th said that Napolitano "had an unfortunate press statement, that's all," and that the real problem was with the sharing of terrorism related information, which is the job of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, headed up by Dennis C. Blair, not Napolitano.

One problem that I see with the cries from the right is that the security failures occurred outside the United States. While many argue that full body scanners could have prevented this attack, previous concerns regarding privacy has prevented their installation, with some countries believe they violate the law in certain circumstances, such as minors passing through, because the scanner's depiction of genitalia would violate child pornography laws. Since the Christmas Day attack, the Dutch have made statements that they plan on installing such scanners for U.S. bound flights and Washington has changed it's position on these scanners, believing that they are now necessary, but I still cannot see how a security failure in the Netherlands is a job failure for Napolitano, unless you are the minority party and looking for any way to combat the administration.

On many conservative sites, Napolitano has already captured the headlines, along with attacks on Islam, the bomber, and now Yemen, where former Gitmo detainee Said Ali al-Shihri is said to have helped plan the attack. While it may be pointed out that he was released from custody in 2007, during the Bush administration, conservatives still find away to blame Democrats. From a Big Government article, Andrew Marcus discusses the connections between the bomber, al-Shihri, and Yemen, as well as the president's release of the detainee, and asks the question: "Does anyone seriously believe [Bush] would have ever [released al-Shihri] if not for the constant pressure applied by the American Progressive Left?"

When you hate the president and the majority party so much, I guess it makes it easier to prove your point, no matter how ridiculous it is. Attack a current government official for a failure that occurred outside the country, involving former Gitmo detainees who aided Abdulmutallab, or blame the current ruling party, and majority, for pressuring the then president to release the detainee? Either way you look at it, in the conservative view, Democrats are to blame for this year's Christmas Day terrorist attack. Can we maybe throw in their how culpable the Bush administration was for ignoring memorandums regarding what would culminate in the September 11th attacks, or is that also derived from Democratic actions?

War Hawk Dick Cheney Rebutted By White House

Dick Cheney, the previous administration's war hawk vice president, has been making news recently criticizing the current president's approach to handling the recent terrorist attack on America - the attempted bombing of a Detroit flight. With comments made stating that Obama is ignoring the fact that we are at war and is making America unsafe - his typical spiel - Cheney has solidified is place in the GOP as that cantankerous old uncle every body has but can't seem to forget or stop inviting to family functions.

According to Dick Cheney, Obama "seems to think if he has a low-key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won't be at war. He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won't be at war. He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of Sept. 11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won't be at war."

White House communications director Dan Pfieffer responded dismissing Cheney's remarks as nothing more then political rhetoric, even using Cheney's own opinions against him. Of Obama's response to the terrorist attack, Cheney said it was "the typical Washington game of pointing fingers and making political hay." Pfieffer's response to Cheney is that he is playing the "same old Washington blame game."

Maybe Dick Cheney has a bit more to be worried about, like the upcoming trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammad and four other September 11th conspirators, which may highlight his, as well as former president George W. Bush's and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice's, negligence, both gross and criminal, that allowed the terrorist attack to occur. Maybe he is worried that this time around the press will actually focus on the role he played in one of the largest attacks on American soil.

Pfieffer continued to push back at the former vice president, stating the comparison between this administration and the last, pointing out Dick Cheney's hawkish nature:
"The difference is this: President Obama doesn't need to beat his chest to prove it, and — unlike the last administration — we are not at war with a tactic ("terrorism"), we (are) at war with something that is tangible: al-Qaida and its violent extremist allies. And we will prosecute that war as long as the American people are endangered."
I would hope that higher up officials would speak out in much harsher terms against Cheney, but in the same breath, doing so could possibly help validate his statements, at least to some, and right now Cheney does not even dignify a response (which brings me to question why I am even writing this).

Also related, I had found this article from The Seattle Times, which compares this attempted terrorist attack to the one attempted by Richard Reid, the shoe bomber. At that time, president George W. Bush was on vacation and failed to make a comment for 6 days, receiving no criticism from the media or the Democrats. Democratic National Committee spokesman Hari Sevugan said "this hypocrisy demonstrates Republicans are playing politics with issues of national security and terrorism" and that "they would use this incident as an opportunity to fan partisan flames ... tells you all you need to know about how far the Republican Party has fallen and how out of step with the American people they have become." In 2001, on the following day of the attack, a meeting with the president lasted 25 minutes with zero questions of the shoe bomber, although a comment was made in passing. Bush's response:
"The shoe bomber was a case in point, where the country has been on alert. A stewardess on an American Airlines flight — or a flight attendant on an American Airlines flight — was vigilant, saw something amiss and responded. It's an indication that the culture of America has shifted to one of alertness. And I'm grateful for the flight attendant's response, as I'm sure the passengers on that airplane. But we've got to be aware that there are still enemies to the country. And our government is responding accordingly."
For additional reading regarding Dick Cheney and his abuse of power, check out:
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
Cheney: The Untold Story of America's Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Big Government's Dan Mitchell Believes Universal Health Care A Detriment But Ignores The Facts

I was almost surprised when I had come across an article on Andrew Breitbart's Big Government, which appeared to be discussing how America is overpaying for healthcare and not reaping any of the rewards, mainly an extended lifespan, but my doubts were correct.  The website quickly went on the attack.

Using a graph Andrew Sullivan posted on the Atlantic's website from National Geographic, the graph illustrates how the United States of America pays roughly twice the average costs for health care but has a lower then average lifespan, especially when compared to nations with universal health coverage.  The author of the article, Dan Mitchell, who is of the CATO Institute, attempts to make the point that chart is misleading, not taking into account the reasons why American's lives are shorter then those with universal coverage, most notably citing car crashes, homicides, and obesity, although I would believe the latter to be increasingly related to health expenditures.  If you consider the scope of it all, Mitchell proposes that our lives are cut short by a couple years not because of inadequate care but because we crash our cars, kill each other, and eat way too many cheeseburgers and fries, but would those things also occur in other nations, effectively balancing out the figure?

Countries with universal coverage below America on the chart are former Soviet states, with the only other nation without universal coverage on the graph being Mexico, which pays roughly 11% of what America pays for health care but with Mexicans living only 4 years less.  They are joined below America with Poland, Hungary, Slovak Republic, and South Korea.  A better argument against this chart would be that the illustration does not represent enough nations without universal coverage but maintain high life expectancies, but that is not the point of the Mitchell article.  Instead, it argues that the graph is inaccurate and that the reason why American health care costs are out of whack are because of the increase of third-party payers. Mitchell states that "when people are purchasing something with (what is perceived to be) other people’s money, it’s understandable that they don’t pay much attention to cost." He accompanies this thought with a homemade graph showing the rise of third-party payers, showing that because consumers only directly pay for 12 percent of health care costs, consumers obviously don't care where the remaining 88 percent come from. The only problem with this thought process is that if reforming health care under the Obama administration means higher costs and adopting universal health care would be detrimental to the American system, then why are our European counterparts paying less and getting more for their money? How come costs didn't explode under their system?

Mitchell cites as reference a YouTube video of his as proof he is right (reminiscent of fellow Big Governmenter Jim Hoft), but it seems as if he is bashing the figures on the right of the chart while completely ignoring those on the left - I guess some more of that deceptive conservative journalism, right?

Anti-Gay Marriage Supporter, Karl Rove, Gets 2nd Divorce

Karl Rove, former senior advisor and deputy chief of staff under the Bush administration, is getting a divorce - for the second time.  Rove and his wife, Darby, are getting a divorce after 24 years of marriage.  Rove's family spokesperson response to the media coverage of his impending divorce: "There will be no further comment and the family requests that its privacy be respected."

Karl Rove has been a constant figure in the anti-gay marriage scene, using gay marriage as a political tool to benefit the Republicans by invigorating the religious and social conservative base, but apparently, the sanctity of marriage in the Rove household is no more.  Rove has continually campaigned against gay marriage, claiming any court decision in favor of extending marital rights to homosexual couples are invalid because they are made by "activist judges".  Karl Rove stated the following back in 2004:
Well, marriage is a very important part of our culture and our society. If we want to have a hopeful and decent society, we ought to aim for the ideal. And the ideal is that marriage ought to be and should be a union of a man and a woman. And we cannot allow activist judges to overturn that. We cannot allow activist local elected officials to thumb their nose at 5,000 years of human history and determine that marriage is something else.
Homosexual couples apparently do not fall into his vision of a decent society, and being a hypocrite himself, Rove has decided to get divorced, which is essentially the same as one "thumb[ing] [ones] nose at 5,000 years of human history."  To add to Rove's hypocrisy, it has became clear that Rove's own stepfather, Louis Rove, who raised the young Karl as his own, came out as homosexual later in his life.  Salon's Glenn Greenwald tweeted the following: "This is Rove's second 'traditional marriage' to end without death doing them part -- his next one will be his third traditional marriage."  Greenwald had gone on to write about Rove in his blog posting:
Texas, needless to say, is one of the states which has constitutionally barred same-sex marriages, and has a Governor who explicitly cites Christian dogma as the reason to support that provision, yet the overwhelming majority of Texan citizens make sure that there's nothing in the law making their own marriages binding or permanent -- i.e., traditional. They're willing to limit other people's marriage choices on moral grounds, but not their own, and thus have a law that lets them divorce whenever the mood strikes. That's the very permissive, untraditional and un-Christian law that Rove just exploited in order to obtain his divorce....

If Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh and their friends and followers actually were required by law to stay married to their wives -- the way that "traditional marriage" was generally supposed to work -- the movement to have our secular laws conform to "traditional marriage" principles would almost certainly die a quick, quiet and well-deserved death.
What does the Conservative media have to say about Rove's divorce?  While on Fox News, Karl Rove spent 11 minutes discussing things other then his marriage and the conservative slanted Politico had only pleasant things to say about the couple, reiterating the Rove's spokesperson statement and comments from family friends that say it is a shame but that Karl and Darby will remain on good terms, with zero mention of his stance on gay marriage, or the simple fact that it was his second marriage to fail.  There also seemed to be an unrelated plug for his upcoming memoir, "Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight," which must be a reference to his fight with conservativeideals such as traditional marriage and his failure to meet those conditions.

A Comparitive View Of DirectTV's Business Practices And The Methods Of The Sand Lake Hills Homeowners Association

This week, Washington state has filed a lawsuit against DirectTV for maintaining a business model based on deception.  This lawsuit had made me consider the workings of a particular homeowners association, the Sand Lake Hills Homeowners Association, Inc. (SLHHOA).  I continue to focus on the SLHHOA for many reasons, but mostly to illustrate the problems with private government and the lack of actual government oversight that tends to allow abuses to occur.  The SLHHOA just happens to have numerous problems that I enjoy pointing out to help educate my fellow homeowners, especially those who live in the neighborhood, but do not want to get involved for fear that they will incur a financial burden.  These homeowners are willing to sacrifice their rights just so that they are not to be bothered and so I try my best to inform them, despite their reluctance, hoping that one day they see the light and fight for their rights.

The lawsuit against DirectTV involves 16 different causes of action, some of which I will highlight for the purpose of comparison below:
  • The sales scripts used by telemarketers include nothing about the terms and conditions on the discount plan.
The SLHHOA had made a push to amend the covenants and restrictions a couple years back, sending volunteers throughout the neighborhood.  Those volunteers asked homeowners to sign a joinder and consent form, accepting the rewritten covenants for their property.  Those volunteers did not have the rewritten covenants for homeowners to review, and the HOA had actually failed to send them out to every homeowner.  If a homeowner refused to sign the joinder and consent form, the volunteer simply threatened that one day they will be forced to pay.  According to the DirectTV article, this practice is called "layering", or hiding the conditions in various places.  The SLHHOA had actually split up their rules, with some being outlined in the covenants and restrictions while others in the by-laws or articles of incorporation, with each referencing only a portion of the rules and directing the homeowner to the various other documents, with some requiring the homeowner to actually purchase them from the state because those documents are not available in digitial format.
  • Consumers who buy a DirecTV unit at an electronics store like Best Buy have been unknowingly enrolled in a lease agreement. Even thought the units are purchased like any other electronic equipment -- often for around $100 -- the consumers don’t own them. If they fail to activate DirecTV service, they can face a $150 "activation failure" fee. If they turn off the service early, they can face a $480 early-termination fee and must return the unit to DirecTV.
The SLHHOA had written into their new set of illegal covenants that if a homeowner joins the association, they are forced to be members forever, making their property subject to regulation by the association forever, even if ownership changes.  The SLHHOA had also wrote that even if you are not a member, if you sell your home, the future homeowner would be a member of the association and be required to pay the association assessments.  This is similar to purchasing a unit at the store but later discovering they are not owned by the consumer.  The association has created these roach motel contracts to trap homeowners into their corporation so that they can collect money and force the homeowner to be legally liable to the corporation.
  • Consumers who are given "Free HBO" stations for a trial period are often rolled into a paid subscription without their express consent.
The SLHHOA allows homeowners the option to not pay the maintenance assessment if they join and pay the membership to the association, to appear as if the homeowner is not incurring extra costs.
  • Customers who refuse a credit check or have bad credit face "hundreds of dollars" in extra fees.
Homeowners who refuse to pay the SLHHOA's assessments face legal action, regardless if they are not liable to the corporation.

Obviously, this is not everything the association has done wrong, and maybe this comparison will seem as a bit of a stretch, but for some this will hit home.  How would you feel if you were required to purchase a service because your neighbors have decided that you have to pay because they are, regardless of if you actually use the service?  This is what the SLHHOA is doing.  They are trying to force homeowners, regardless of membership to their corporation, pay for their expenses...

Maybe it is late and my mind is going in too many directions, but to me, this makes sense!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Michele Bachmann, Chuck Grassley, Sam Brownback, and Max Baucus Collect Government Subsidies For Family Farms

An article on Truthdig had pointed out that Republican elected officials Representative Bachmann of Minnesota, Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa, Senator Sam Brownback from Kansas, and Democratic Senator Max Baucus from Montana have been collecting farm subsidies for a long time now, despite their free market talk and attempts to derail health care (at least for the Republican senators and congressmen).
When discussing health care, Senator Grassley had stated that "whenever the government does more ... that’s a movement toward socialism," yet he is been more then willing to collect government welfare for his family farms.

I had found this article interesting and decided to share it. 

Friday, December 18, 2009

Rick Geller on Law and Local Government: Florida Senate Vote Removes Last Barrier to Rail Transit

I believe Rick Geller says it best.  Florida's infrastructure needs to advance and putting off mass transit projects will only negatively impact the region.  With construction sprawling out of control across the landscape, the state's roads are now gridlocked, but nobody is willing to look to the future.  As Geller writes, nobody questions money for road projects, but rail projects have gotten plenty of scrutiny.  I believe that it is vital to not only the transit system, but to the economy of the state that adequate mass transportation is developed. 

Read Rick Geller's article here:

Rick Geller on Law and Local Government: Florida Senate Vote Removes Last Barrier to Rail Transit

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Schwarzenegger Calls Palin's Boycott Stance "Nonsense Talk"

Sarah Palin has called for the Prseident Obama to boycott Copenhagen.  When asked about it, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called it "nonsense talk." Palin pushed back with her facebook, writing the following:
Why is Gov. Schwarzenegger pushing for the same sorts of policies in Copenhagen that have helped drive his state into record deficits and unemployment? Perhaps he will recall that I live in our nation's only Arctic state and that I was among the first governors to create a sub-cabinet to deal specifically with climate change.  While I and all Alaskans witness the impacts of changes in weather patterns firsthand, I have repeatedly said that we can't primarily blame man's activities for those changes.
Does Sarah Palin know how to go into details about anything?  Her response to Schwarzenegger sounds very familiar and that is because she said the same thing in her Washington Post op-ed piece on December 9th.

I saw the impact of changing weather patterns firsthand while serving as governor of our only Arctic state. I was one of the first governors to create a subcabinet to deal specifically with the issue and to recommend common-sense policies to respond to the coastal erosion, thawing permafrost and retreating sea ice that affect Alaska's communities and infrastructure.

She goes on to say that "while we recognize the occurrence of these natural, cyclical environmental trends, we can't say with assurance that man's activities cause weather changes."

When is Sarah Palin going to stop reminding people that she was the governor of Alaska, the nation's only arctic state, or that she was wonderful?  After all, she created a sub-cabinet to battle climate change, which she probably has no clue what it is about, considering she likes to reference her sub-cabinet only for climate credentials while at the same time attacking one of its purposes.

Sarah Palin also went on the attack, claiming policies like the ones being discussed in Copenhagen are to blame for California's deficits and unemployment.  When did Sarah Palin become an expert on the economics and employment of California?  While Schwarzenegger was only commenting on the climate comments made by Palin, Palin's response was pretty childish.  She pointed her finger at California and said "Look at me!  I know what I'm talking about.  Do you?"

I wish there was a television show around called Debate Palin.  The purpose would be to go on the show and hold debates with her.  Every week would feature a different subject, but the conclusion would always be the same - Palin loses.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Right's Obsession With Homosexuality

I took a trip over to Andrew Breitbart's Big Government and noticed that out of the top fourteen headlines, six of them are written by Jim Hoft and carry the "Fistgate" moniker.  I had already written about a couple of Hoft's previous articles, pointing out that he seemed to cite his own articles published on other websites or websites that reference his own website, but it surprised me to see so much space dedicated to his anti-homosexual articles.

As listed on Big Government's homepage, there is Fistgate I, "Jennings Conference Promoted Dangerous 'Fisting'"; Fistgate II, "Jennings Conference Distributes 'Fisting' Kits"; Fistgate III, "'Little Black Book: Queer in the 21st Century'"; Fistgate IV, "Gay Bar Guides for Teens"; Fistgate V, "Teacher Laments, 'Fisting...often Gets a Bad Rap'"; and Fistgate VI, "'No Dookie On Your Noodle".

Reading all the "fistgate"s, I noticed a few things, other then author Jim Hoft's resesmblence to Michael McDonald's recurring character on MadTV, Stuart Larkin.  I had already read the first two Hoft articles, and was surprised when I noticed he had 4 more today.  In Fistgate III, the smear focuses on material given to teens and young adults at a GLSEN conference, which discusses the safety of particular sexual activities, use of a condom, and a list of area gay bars.  The material, a pamphlet titled "The Little Black Book: V 2 Queer In The 21st Century," it is written in street vernacular.  While the right believes it to encourage homosexuality, it discusses the the risks involved in various sexual acts, such as "fuckin'", "suckin'", "rimming", and "watersports (piss play).  Hoft uses as a source for his argument Mass Resistance, an anti-gay website and blog (their blog features a picture of newly married male couple with the title "'Sodomy' Marriage" and a caption "Made in heaven?".

In the Fistgate IV article, Jim Hoft starts off with referencing his own articles again. He writes "Earlier today it was reported that Kevin Jennings’ Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) organization was distributing gay bar directories to high school students at the 2005 Massachusetts GLSEN conference," linking to his own Gateway Pundit article for Fistgate III.  The article also references a World Net Daily article from 2000, referencing the "recent arrest of a Chicago GLSEN leader for soliciting sex with an underage boy", but failed to mention that the article was from 2000, making the event appear all the more recent and quotes Peter LaBarbera of the Americans for Truth Project, a dedicated "organization devoted exclusively to exposing and countering the homosexual activist agenda."  In the article, LaBarbera states that "GLSEN has claimed to protect ‘at-risk’ kids" but are instead "helping put young teenage boys at risk" by giving them guides to anonymous sex clubs and leather bars.  Apparently, there are particular children who are "at risk" of becoming homosexual, and GLSEN is helping them become gay.  According to LaBarbera, homosexual organizations aim to "criminalize Christian opposition to behavior that most Americans believe is wrong," and GLSEN just happens to be one of them.  The Americans for Truth Project categorizes homsexuality as a lifestyle that is learned, and is inherently wrong.

Fistgate IV is pretty much a reprint of Fistgate III, and Fistgate V states that Kevin Jennings, the Safe School Czar, was aware of this material at the GLSEN conference almost a decade ago.  Fistgate VI focuses on a passage from "The Little Black Book", which discusses condom use.  The Jim Hoft transcript is as follows:
No Dookie On Your Noodle! Nobody knows better than queer men that sh*t happens. It’s just a fact of life…and butts*x. While there are steps to take to avoid a mess, they’re not always practical for the boy on the go. Condoms allow you a certain freedom that can be a great selling point if you’re cruising the park and don’t want stray spunk on your new polyester shirt…”
Understanding that the entire pamphlet was written in slang, Hoft makes the connection that the sex act is to take place in the park.  Hoft states that GLSEN is basically reccommending boys go out "cruising for anonymous anal sex in public parks with strangers".  According to Wikipedia, cruising is the following:
In a specifically sexual context, the term "cruising" originally emerged as an argot "code word" in gay slang, by which those "in the know" would understand the speaker's unstated sexual intent, whereas most heterosexuals, on hearing the same word in the same context, would normally misread the speaker's intended meaning in the word's more common (and presumably less threatening) nonsexual sense. This served (and in some contexts, still serves) as a protective sociolinguistic mechanism for gay men to recognize not only each other, but those who may wish to do them harm in broader societies noted for their homophobia.
Jim Hoft's interpretation of this word is from an outsider looking in, and would be similar to a white person looking at the usage of the word "nigger" and taking it to mean something completely different when spoken between African-Americans.  Instead of looking at this booklet as a guide to safe sex, Hoft looked at the entire "fistgate" scenario as one who is disgusted with homosexuality, and has chosen to dedicate his most recent articles in attacking Kevin Jennings, GLSEN, and homosexuality in general by citing prominent anti-gay organizations in his quest to rid the Obama administration of someone not like him.  What is even scarier then Hoft's articles is that he is given a pulpit to preach his hatred, and given the popularity of Big Government among the new ultra conservative wing, Hoft's anti-gay views are inching their way into the fractured GOP, where it was once unpopular to gay bash.  Check out the comments on Hoft's various articles:

Remember where this SICKO is from and where he got to promote his PERVERTED PROGRESSIVE AGENDA! Massachusetts! WOW, WHAT A SURPRISE!. The place where Ted Kennedy and Barney Frank have spewed their libRETARD agendas for decades! It's almost impossible to believe that Massachusetts was the birthplace of the American Revolution! Now the birthplace of HIGH TAXES, PERVERTS, GUN CONTROL, and PROGRESSIVES hell bent on destroying this great country. PEOPLE OF MASSACHUSETTS, WAKE UP!

I RECOMMEND THEY TEACH THIS IN SCHOOL. It's real simple! Put up a poster showing the posterior end of a human being, male or female! Then have an ARROW POINTING TO THE ORAFICE, and IN BIG LETTERS the caption: EXIT ONLY!

Isn't it disturming enough that we have communists, marxists, socialists, anarchists, and racist POLITICALLY ABSURD types in this administration. Now I guess we need to add PERVERTS too! For God's sake alreaday!

How long are we going to put up with this? WAKE-UP America. What ever it takes, and I mean WHAT EVER it takes we have to put these degenerated demons back in the ****hole they crawled out of. We can not tolerate it another second. I want some person with the presence to stand-up and denounce this scum. He will have the backing of 90% of the population. We can not let these queers ruin our culture. I will not standby any longer. Who is going to stand-up for the decent people of this country? Please people let's respond to these satanic reprobates!

What Jennings continues to emphasize, however, as also Barack Obama by naming Jennings to this position he maintains, is that there is direct correlation and association between homosexuality, child abuse and child sexual abuse (pedophilia).

That the U.S. government (which includes public schools by any/all associated with them) would IN ANY CAPACITY be fascilitating this is beyond disgusting, is utterly contemptible and outright hideously vile.

Why we aren't rioting in the streets and forcibly removing everyone in the Congress and the Senate and the White House as is our guaranteed right in the Constitution, I don't know. But I do know that if we don't start and start soon, then I guess we have no one but ourselves to blame for the loss of our Freedom, the greatest Country this world has ever seen and our children. I for one, don't want to have to explain to my children why I didn't make the stand for their future and freedom, why I wasn't willing to make the sacrifices that our founders made for their children and their future and ours. I am willing to fight, bleed and die to preserve this country and all that it stands for and has stood for since our founders fought, bled and died for it because it IS worth the sacrifice. We have all known in or hearts and souls that we might have to be the ones who would find it necessary to "water the tree of liberty", just like our founders knew it would have to be from time to time, because as you know Freedom isn't Free.

Cowboy Logic:
Truthfully, I don't know how many days of this fisting Brokeback Mountain action I can take before my head explodes. I would be curious as to what Ned Beatty would think about all of this............

On a serious note, the last sentence in your thread, "Do you feel safe now?". Yes, I do. Surrounded by my guns and ammo with my family close by. I feel safe.


Mr. Hoft,
When is it considered politically correct to PI$$ on your partner?
When is it considered socially correct to PI$$ on your partner?

Do these circumstances ever intertwine and overlap?
Do Barry and MoShelle PI$$ on each other in front of the children, and are the First Daughters taught these techniques at Private Prep School in Foggy Bottom? Enquiring minds want to know. Please inform US......

Sunshine Connie:
That creature is a pervert of humanity. Tar and feathers would be too kind. By his words he should be institutionalized.

To quote Jim Hoft, "Do you feel safe now?"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Palin Supported Cap-And-Trade Before Against It.

Sarah Palin recently wrote an op-ed piece for The Washington Post regarding the conservative manufactured controversy of "Climate-gate."  Believing that climate "experts" fudged some data, Palin calls for Obama to boycott the climate change conference in Copenhagen.  "I've always believed that policy should be based on sound science, not politics," Palin wrote, which I found interesting because she does not seem to take her own advice, especially when you apply it to other areas that Palin had delved into, such as the "birther" conspiracy or "death panels".  I did not realize that Sarah Palin had the ability to gauge the expertise of climatologists, but apparently she does seeing that she had placed the word "expert" in quotation marks.

One particular part of her op-ed piece that I found interesting was where she references her experience with climate change and how she acted in the interest of real science, not politics, like when she sued the Federal government for placing polar bears on the threatened species list or when she formed a subcabinet in Alaska to deal with climate change.

First, I would just like to mention that the Palin administration in Alaska sued the Federal government along with the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the National Mining Association (NMA), so Palin wasn't just crusading on behalf of the common man, she was accompanied by industry against the Federal government.  I would think that siding with big business over the little guy would be very political in nature...

Secondly, I found interesting her reference of the subcabinet she created because she was so concerned with climate change.  Palin had publicly denounced Obama and his support of cap-and-trade, calling it in a July 14th op-ed piece for The Washington Post an "enormous threat to our economy," yet according to the very subcabinet she credits herself for creating, the subcabinet would develop recommendations for dealing with the "opportunities for Alaska to participate in carbon-trading markets, including the offering of carbon sequestration."  As a side note, it is interesting that the API also lobbies against cap-and-trade, so either Palin understands nothing about her administrative orders as Governor of Alaska, or she is a damn good maverick.  Funny, because that very subcabinet would also have been responsible for establishing a climate change strategy regarding the polar bears, but because saving the polar bears would be detrimental to industry, Palin sided with industry, completely ignoring the purpose of the subcabinet in her suit against the Federal government. 

All this is proof that Sarah Palin is nothing but a shell.  She claims to be in the game because she was governor of an arctic state and was familiar with all things, from energy production and natural resources, to foreign policy, but when you chisel away at her public persona, you discover that there is no real substance; only contradictions.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fistgate II? Big Government Obsesses With What They Call "Homosexual Sex Practices"; Cites Own Work As Proof

Like any good ultra-right blogger, Jim Hoft seems to have found a smear and is sticking to it.  Building on his previous "fisting" article, Hoft trickles out some new information on his Big Government page describing how GLSEN and Planned Parenthood handed out "fisting kits", which consisted of lubrication, a glove, and instructions.

It seems Jim Hoft must have been digging for some dirt on what he deems as wrong, or so it seems.  Hoft's blog is interesting because he cites a couple websites such as Mass Resistance, Founding Bloggers, Gateway Pundit, and Massachusetts News Massachusetts News published a story 8 years ago by Ed Oliver titled "Fistgate II Teaches More Homosexual Activity For Young 'Homosexuals'".  Founding Bloggers seemed to cut and paste parts of the Oliver's article, which they claim was sent by an "interesting reader."  The Founding Bloggers blog also links to Big Government and Gateway Pundit for more information.  Gateway Pundit featured an audio clip and transcripts Mass Resistance, which claims the tapes were made to combat the homosexual agenda in our schools.  Did I mention that the Gateway Pundit article was also written by Jim Hoft?  According to Wikipedia, there was a gag order placed on the tape of the meeting, but the tapes have been made public in the middle of this year, which is about when Mass Resistance posted their audio clip.

So essentially, Jim Hoft heard this audio clip, wrote an article for Gateway Pundit on December 6th, then cited his own article for another one he wrote for Big Government on December 8th, which in turn cited Founding Bloggers from December 8th as well, which references back to Hoft's Big Government and Gateway Pundit articles.  Where is the research?  Where are the independant sources backing up or strengthening his argument?  Essentially, Hoft goes to a single source for his information, then uses other websites which he writes for or who cite his articles to back up his original article.  Maybe Jim Hoft should try to investigate something new instead of rehashing an 8 year old story.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Breitbart's Big Government Comes Up With "Fistgate"

Andrew Breitbart's website Big Government has not given up the fight against Obama's Safe School Czar Kevin Jennings.  Apparently, Jennings is guilty of promoting "fisting" to 14 year-olds at a conference in 2000.  The moral crusaders over at Big Government must have too much time on their hands.

For proof, they point out that Kevin Jennings founded the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, or GLSEN, in 1990, and was their executive director a couple years ago.  By association, they also cite several books reccommended on the GLSEN website for promoting sexuality in children.  The nail in the coffin for what they dub "fistgate" is an audio clip from a 2000 GLSEN conference in which a woman asks what exactly "fisting" is.  The speaker, David LaFontaine, chairman of the Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth explained what the act is, with the woman adding to his explanation.  Apparently this is proof that Jennings promotes adolescent sex, but not just any sex, but "fisting".

The author of this Big Government article, Jim Hoft, makes the accusation that all gay and lesbian organizations are about sex based on this "proof", but what I think is the underlying issue is the hatred the ultra-right feels towards homsexuality.  Hoft uses an audio clip of David LaFontaine from this conferance with voice over from another conservative website, Mass Resistance, claiming that LaFontaine was showing 14 year-olds how to insert a hand into a rectum, insinuating that LaFontaine, and by association, Kevin Jennings, are promoting acts they deem immoral.  He also inserts a Scott Baker, co-founder of, post from a Gateway Pundit blog attacking the "reccommended" reading list of GLSEN.

Considering the past attacks against Kevin Jennings, it is very clear that the ultra-right hates homosexuals, and their hatred seems to come out of the closet as they vigourously attack their targets.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nobody Loves Obama

It seems The Wall Street Journal has nothing better to write about these days.  An article by Peggy Noonan, titled "He Can't Take Another Bow", insists that nobody really loves Obama.  She claims that Obama has lost the support of those who elected him into power.  Her article's name is a reference to his recent bowing to the Emperor of Japan, and she claims that Obama's administration is void of "wise men" to help get him out of trouble.  She states that even Richard Nixon or George W. Bush had their core 20% that still loved them, but she questions whether Obama still has that group of people.  She compares Obama to Gerald Ford, and uses the image of Ford stumbling on the steps of Air Force One to imply that Obama's policies are not rock solid and that the presidency is bigger then he is.  For Peggy Noonan, Obama is destined to become the next Jimmy Carter, which the right seems to love to hate.

Noonan question's Obama's bow, saying he does not have a firm grasp on protocol, but then she continues to say that a bow may have been appropriate if accompanied by the appropriate headline or that the status of the nation determines the message of the bow.  She states that the Obama photograph paint a picture of an "incompetent" man.  Apparently the Democrats are engaging in the same thought processes that the Republicans have had for the past several years, and that is to ignore criticism because history will prove otherwise.  She had apparently assessed this all from ten months of the presidency.

Noonan writes her piece as if it is fact, but it is all based off of assumptions.  In the beginning of her article, she cites a journalist from a Politico piece, who is often a "sympathetic chronicler of Democratic figures," who states that before, many people held Obama in an unrealistically high view, but have now come to the conclusion that Obama is not "the person of integrity and even classiness they had thought."  Noonan does not really come out and say she hates Obama and he is failing, but she comes pretty close.  She uses the new journalism of the right, which basically is a statement followed by a question: "It is reported that nobody loves Obama, right?" 


Thursday, November 26, 2009

One Christian Nation, Under God, Divisible, With Glenn Beck And Fox News For All

On the November 25th edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck, Beck proceeded to draw on his trademark chalk board a depiction of the Washington Monument, pointing out that the founding fathers built this nation on Christian principles, and stressed that on the top of the monument, the inscription "Laus Deo", can be found on the capstone.  Apparently, according to Glenn Beck, "progressives have built up this wall of separation between church and state, and it's nonsense."  For Glenn Beck, America's founding fathers intended on America being a Christian nation; a theocracy.

Beck only points out what he wants people to see.  Yes, the capstone of the monument has the inscription "Laus Deo", but not because of Glenn Beck's assertion that it was placed there for nobody to see but God.  Beck fails to mention that there are four sides to the capstone, and only one face holds this inscription.  The others include the names of the architect, engineers, and mechanics involved in the process, as well as others involved, and the dates the cornerstone, first stones, and capstone were laid.  To leave out the other sides of the capstone make the Washington Monument appear to be a monument to God, but including the inscriptions on the other three faces, then it would be misleading to imply this was designed for God, and stating such would mean that those who have placed their names on the top of the monument feel they are enlightened, while those who cannot see the inscriptions, are not.  There is also question of the mysterious inscription on the steps leading up to the monument, "Fy iaith, fy ngwlad, fy nghenedl Cymru — Cymry am byth", which translates from Welsh as "My language, my land, my nation of Wales — Wales for ever."  Was the monument designed as a tribute to Wales?  Is Wales the true recipient of God's touch?  Glenn Beck is delusional to believe a monument created a couple generations after our "founding" fathers founded this nation depicts their true intentions.

Apparently, the inscriptions on the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials also prove this nation was meant to be a theocracy.  Glenn Beck is increasingly showing that he wants this nation subjugated by the religious right, and is constantly dismissing the protections our founding fathers placed in the constitution protecting our religious freedoms.  One nation under Glenn Beck equals intolerance towards those who do not have right-wing ideologies.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Limbaugh, Among Others, Calls Landrieu A Prostitute, Yet They Cried When Grayson Spoke Before

Senator Mary Landreiu has become under attack recently from the right for because she lobbied the Senate for expanded Medicaid coverage for Louisiana and had voted for the health reform bill to go to the Senate floor for debate.  Voices from the right, including Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, came out to speak against the senator, with Beck calling her a "high-class prostitute" and Limbaugh saying she "may be the most expensive prostitute in the history of prostitution."

What aggravates me about this issue is not what they said, but what they said before when another person used similar language, and by that I mean Grayson calling a lobbyist last month a "K Street whore."  The right cried about about the use of this sexist term and compared his actions to Representative Joe Wilson, who was punished for yelling at the President during a joint session of Congress.

Beck and Limbaugh have every right to call Landreiu a prostitute, but the fact remains that they previously complained when someone who opposes their views spoke out, so for them to now take a position supporting the calling of a senator a prostitute is just hypocritical.  There is also the question of sexism.  When Representative Joeseph Cao, who is also from Louisiana, voted on the House's bill, making him the sole Republican to do so, he was not called a prostitute from critics, and his reasons for voting on the legislation were similar to that of Landreiu.  Maybe these elected officials are actually trying to represent their constituency and help bring them much needed health care instead of voting with the party that has no interest in helping America, but just opposing any Obama-backed policy.

Those on the right are blatantly hypocritical and need to be called out on their actions.  This is just another example of Republicans and ultra-right conservatives use of double-standards.  In my opinion, the RINOs are all these conservatives who come out and attack the Democrats at every turn, some under the guise of other conservative affiliations like Glen Beck and Libertarianism, without offering any constructive criticism or show of bipartisanship.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dr. P. Phillips Foundation Sits Idly By While Another Non-Profit Corporation Tramples On Homeowners' Rights

The Dr. Phillip Phillips was a prominent businessman and philanthropist, who was active in Central Florida, and whose name can be seen on numerous buildings around Orlando, such as the Orlando Regional Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, Dr. Phillips High School, Dr. P. Philips Orlando Performing Arts Center.  The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation and Dr. Phillips Inc. have played an important role in not only many of Central Florida's programs, but in the development of numerous communities as well, with some deriving their name from the once vast Phillips estate.  One particular neighborhood that owes it's existence to the Dr. P. Phillips Foundation and Dr. Phillips Inc. is Sand Lake Hills, which I have written about before.

Years ago, when Sand Lake Hills was being developed, problems arose with the original developer.  The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation stepped in and saved the neighborhood, but not without leaving their mark.  In the covenants and restrictions of several Sand Lake Hills subdivisions, the foundation had written a clause, that not only protected their interests in the neighborhood, but also would act as insurance for the homeowners, giving the foundation a final say on any changes proposed to be made on the covenants and restrictions, ensuring that no single homeowner could effectively rewrite the neighborhood's governing documents changing the intent of the neighborhood.  To be very clear, the foundation wrote the following:
Any Property Owner shall have the right to enforce the Covenants and Restrictions placed on the Property by this instrument and, in addition, Dr. Phillips, Inc, retains the exclusive right to amend, modify, change, or eliminate any or all of said Covenants and Restrictions on any of the Property which is owned in fee simple by Dr. Phillips, Inc. at the time such amendment, modification, change or elimination and further provide that no change in any of the said Covenants and Restrictions shall be made without the written consent of Dr. Phillips, Inc. or the Dr. P. Phillips Foundation even though such entity may have no real property to be benefited by
these Covenants and Restrictions.
These covenants and restrictions were filed in the seventies and eighties.  Earlier this decade, a section of the neighborhood, Sand Lake Hills Section 2, had a new group of people gain control of the Board of Directors of the homeowners association for the single section, but the board failed to grasp the concept of multiple separate subdivisions with multiple separate covenants and restrictions.  This Board recognized that there were multiple sections, but that each of these separate sections were part of their association, and this belief probably stems from the fact that in the 1980s, the then Board decided to amend their Articles of Incorporation, granting their corporation power over every surrounding neighborhood with similar covenants and restrictions, as well as similar plat names.  This change was made to the Articles fraudulently, considering the then Board did not even fit the requirements set forth by their own Articles to even be board members.

In this homeowners association's attempt to become the ruling association of every surrounding subdivision, the Board had decided to rewrite the covenants and restrictions of every surrounding subdivision so that they were in charge, specifically eliminating language in the original documents granting every homeowner the ability to enforce the covenants and restrictions, and naming their corporation as the sole authority in the area.  The Board then canvased the neighborhood, collecting signatures on joinder and consent forms from homeowners, and when they reached a simple majority, they filed their collected signatures, as well as their rewritten covenants, with the county, but they failed to take into consideration several facts, one being the Dr. Phillips clause, "no change in any of the said Covenants and Restrictions shall be made without the written consent of Dr. Phillips, Inc. or the Dr. P. Phillips Foundation".

The Board's response?  Ignore the clause and proceed.  With the filing of their covenants, the Sand Lake Hills HOA for Section 2 sent out letters to every homeowner in the annexed sections, where they then threatened legal action unless the homeowner paid their association a certain amount of money, and if the homeowner did not pay, they would face interest rates of 18% per month,contrary to the legal limit of 18% per annum.  Homeowners had even requested from the HOA's lawyer how they were able to legally make these changes and what laws they based this decision off of.  The lawyer responded with a reference to a collections court case and that it was the "fair" thing to do, implying that if the homeowner did not pay, they will take them to court and the homeowner would be forced to pay both party's legal fees in addition to the assessment.

Where does the Dr. P. Phillips Foundation fit in all of this?  When contacted by homeowners of these subdivisions who were threatened by the Sand Lake Hills Homeowners Association for Section 2, the foundation essentially took a stance that anybody could file anything with the courts, but that doesn't make it legally binding, and their view of the amended covenants and restrictions is just that - a bunch of meaningless paper filed with the county.  The foundation no longer has ownership rights for any of the property in the subdivisions, but they had written the clause years ago understanding that one day they would not own any real property in the neighborhood, but that they would still be the custodians of the covenants and restrictions.  Because the foundation currently holds no property in Sand Lake Hills, they refuse to enter into any legal battle with the association that is running amok, leaving the homeowners to fend for themselves, which is unrealistic considering the costs associated with fighting a homeowners association.  Florida statutes place the burden on the homeowner, who must pony up the cash to fight a corporation that has seemingly endless supplies of cash, mainly because they can levy assessments against the membership to wage their war, which often pits neighbor against neighbor.

The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation and Dr. Phillips Inc. are just as culpable as the homeowners association, because their inaction against an attack on the very covenants they authored is the equivalent of an implicit sanction of the HOA's illegal actions.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sand Lake Hills Homeowners Association Plans To Violate Florida Laws

Updated November 19th, 2009.

The Sand Lake Hills Homeowners Association (SLHHOA) in Orlando, Florida, is quickly approaching it's annual membership meeting, but something is amiss.

According to Florida statutes, a homeowners associations are required to give notice of their meetings and allow all homeowners and members entry to their meetings, as well as have the right to speak.  The SLHHOA has failed to follow this simple statute, and this is not the first time they have done so.  The reason why they do not want every homeowner to speak: the association is actively trying to annex over 10 surrounding neighborhoods by rewriting their covenants and restrictions, violating the directions set up in the very same covenants and restrictions they wish to change, so that they can levy assessments of any amount at anytime on every homeowner, regardless of membership.

The SLHHOA meetings were once held in the free meeting room at the local library, but they started a policy of exclusion, only allowing members entry, despite what the law says.  The association didn't always deny entry, it was only last year that they had started, and that is because of the increased opposition to their plans of annexing the surrounding neighborhoods.  Even at their last "open" meeting, they refused homeowners who were not members the ability to speak, banging their gavels whenever someone asked a question.  Because of their policy of exclusion, the library banned them from using their meeting room (the association claimed the county started charging for the room, but the building and room remain to be free, as well as owned by a local non-profit, not the county).

The SLHHOA then tried moving their meeting into the conference room of a local real estate agency, but as soon as the owner found out, he kicked them out at the last minute, and the association saught refuge at a Holiday Inn, only calling members the night before about the change.  The association seemed to be catching on and scheduled their next meeting in the club house of a neighboring subdivision, which happens to be gated, with entrance being permitted when the member presented "proof" that they were members of the association.  They were eventually kicked out and had to return to the Holiday Inn.

This next meeting, to be held Saturday, November 21st, has skipped trying to be anywhere else, and the board has already scheduled it to be at the Holiday Inn, but disclosure of the event has been kept secret.  There is no mention of the meeting on their website and zero signs have been placed around the neighborhood advertising the meeting.  The only place you can find out about the meeting is by entering a restricted part of the website, which allows for proxy voting, but only the location is disclosed.  There is no mention of the time the meeting will be held at.  There is also interesting questions regarding the proxy votes as well.  This concern had been raised last year regarding the proxy votes and the annual membership meeting.

According to corporate by-laws, the SLHHOA's votes for the board, to be held at the annual membership meeting, must be conducted by hand, not by proxy, yet they board has issued proxy votes, which grants the board to act on behalf of the member, with a  list of candidates for the board, naming only incumbents.  The proxy vote also states that the proxy grants power to the board over the member's vote at the meeting "or at any change, adjournment, or continuation" of the meeting, basically giving the board power to do whatever they want once everybody goes home, or to hold another meeting on another day to conduct business.  It is also interesting because the proxy explicitly states that the meeting is "strictly limited to the Board, Board invited guests or speakers, and members in good standing," despite the clear wording in Florida statutes that states "members and parcel owners have the right to attend all membership meetings and to speak at any meeting."

It seems that when faced with any opposition, the board attempts to circumvent confrontation by not disclosing their whereabouts, or refusing access to anyone that stands in their way, or in this case, those whom they wish to collect money from but are not members.  It is also interesting because of their abuse of the proxy voting, which by granting them power over the votes is in itself an unethical practice, but because the board typically uses such proxies as an excuse to do anything, but fail to provide transparency surrounding the proxies they have collected.  It is also interseting because of their practice of using proxies to establish quorom and conduct business, while not disclosing the location of their meeting, or disclosing it to only a close inner circle,essentially guaranteeing them a majority.

It is this reason why loss assessment coverage is a good idea.  If no homeowner was willing to combat this matter, they could be forced to pay excessive assessments, that could potentially put them out of house and home.

To get a better understanding of this absurd situation, visit this website, which is hosted by the homeowner suing the homeowners association, as well as posts by various homeowners in that group of neighborhoods.

Albertsons' Sunset In Florida

In August of this year, Albertsons LLC had announced that they were closing four Florida stores and lay off 288 employees. Albertsons' divesture of their holdings in Florida is nothing new. Since Albertsons Inc. was sold off piecemeal in 2006 to a number of corporations, the remaining stores have been slowly liquidated to whoever was willing to pay. A week after the creation of Albertsons LLC, the company had announced they would close 100 stores. In November of 2006, another 132 stores would be sold off, and the trend would not stop there. Last year, another large sale was made, when Publix Super Markets purchased 49 stores for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Recently, it was announced that Albertsons has decided to sell 3 store locations to Sedano Supermarkets.  As I had previously posted, Albertsons had failed to administer severance plans in the past, and with the number of stores in Florida dwindling, it is only a matter of time that Albertsons exits the market altogether.  With the number of stores still in operation, Albertsons' distribution centers would not be operating at a profit, and I would be certain that they are actively seeking buyers for the remainder of their locations, but the bigger concern for me are the workers who would be affected by such decisions.  My own personal experience with how Albertsons handles layoffs act as an alarm for other employees who may face the same fate.  With the most recent announcement, layoffs will certainly follow, but will the company act responsibly or look only to benefit the executives?  I hope those who are faced with unemployment will be able to find the information provided on this site, especially the severance agreement

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Experience With The Albertsons Severance Plan

Last year, Publix Super Markets, Inc. had purchased 49 Albertsons supermarkets in Florida.  The move came unexpectedly, after management attempted to dispel rumors that they were selling.  Over 5000 employees would be effected by the decision, but it seemed that Albertsons and Publix had a plan.  Albertsons would offer a severance agreement to hourly employees, but there were a certain set of conditions that Albertsons had established. 

Albertsons' human resources department descended on every store to outline the protocol surrounding the severance plan, in which papers were handed out stating such rules.  Albertsons' spokespeople had also told various news agencies the following set of rules to receive severance.  The employee would have to attend a job fair with Publix, to see if Publix would be willing to hire the employee.  If both Publix or Albertsons offered a job to the employee, and the position paid up to 80% of their current wages and was located within 50 miles of the location that they worked, then they would not be elligible to receive the severance.  If the employee was not offered a job, or offered a job that was further then 50 miles or lower then the 80% of their current wage, then they could turn down the offer and still be eligible to accept the severance agreement.  If the employee did accept the severance agreement, they would not be allowed to work for Albertsons for 6 months.  The severance plan would equal one week of pay for each year of service, plus 6 months of paid COBRA benefits.  One other requirement was that you had to finish working for Albertsons until you were formally let go.

While the arrangement sounds somewhat fair, although in theory, either company could offer you a job that paid less and was a considerable distance away, and you would lose your severance.  Also consider the price of gas last summer, where it reached $4 per gallon, and we are talking about a significant increase in costs to the worker.  For Albertsons, it would benefit them to offer an employee a job at a location out of the way for less, for the sole purpose of refusing severance.  For Publix, it gave them an opportunity to pick up skilled workers, and since they purchased 49 stores, if they were to open all supermarkets, then they would have to fill each store with knowledgable associates. 

Unfortunately, Albertsons had decided to act inappropriately, and so I am writing this article for those who may face similar experiences.  I was an employee at Albertsons, and I had qualified for the severance agreement, but Albertsons refused to offer a pay out.

As mentioned above there were a certain set of requirements for one to receive the severance plan.  In my situation, I had attended the job fair, but was not offered a job.  Albertsons had also not offered me a job.  I finished working up until the day the store closed and then I was unemployed.  I asked Albertsons when I will be getting my severance plan and I was told that everything was in the mail.  While searching for a job, I had gone on unemployment and had started to receive benefits, but I still had not received any information regarding my severance.  I had called Albertsons but was told everything was in the mail and that the human resources manager was on vacation, so I would have to call back at a later time.  While waiting for my severance agreement, I had received information from the company administering COBRA benefits, but instead of notifying me that Albertsons had paid for my insurance continuation, it stated that I needed to pay over $700 a month to maintain my insurance.  Unsure of this, my wife had called Albertsons to find out about this letter.  She was told that we would have to pay the amount.

In the meantime, I had decided to try and reapply at Publix, since every other place I had applied to had either rejected my application or had notresponded and I was unsure of if I had insurance coverage anymore, and I needed to make sure I had coverage for me and my family.  Publix had subsequently hired me.  While I was starting with Publix, the Albertsons human resources manager had just gotten back from vacation, and I had finally gotten a hold of them.  I was told that I was not eligible for severance because I was working for Publix.  I had stated that I followed all the procedures outlined by the company but had not received my severance agreement.  I was told that I accepted a job before my termination at Albertsons and that it fell within the guidelines of 50 miles and 80% pay.  When I asked for a copy of such information to be faxed to me, I was told that I was not allowed to have such information because it would constitute "internal documentation".  When I stated that I was on unemployment benefits after my release from the company and that I had proof of receipt of such payments, I was told that Publix would not lie and that I was not eligible.  I was told I should be lucky to have a job.

I was confused.  I followed every detail outlined by my former employer but I was still being denied my severance, which would have totaled close to $3000, plus 6 months of health insurance coverage for my family.  Now I had lost the $3000 and health coverage.  I was mailed a certificate of eligibility for my health insurance which pretty much allowed me to continue full coverage with another plan, but I would have to obtain the plan within roughly two months.  It had already been a month since I was terminated, and Albertsons was not willing to resolve the matter.  I had contacted the human resources manager again to try and straighten out the information.  Finally, I started to get somewhere, or so I thought.  I had again requested the information used to deny my severance and I was again denied, but as I continued to probe, it became clear that there was a mix up.  An employee with the same name and eerily similar social security number had accepted a job with Publix.  The information was transposed and it said that I was offered employment.  This explains a little bit, but not everything.  I asked why I was not still eligible for the severance, and I was told because I was currently working for Publix, and that I would have had to wait 6 months before seeking employment with them.  Confused, I referred back to the meetings held by the human resources department.  Back in the meeting, we were not told of any non-compete clause.  The human resources manager told me that they had not mentioned it at that time, or ever.  I asked why I did not receive a copy of the severance before or after my termination, so I would have known the full terms of the agreement, and she stated the incorrect information that I was offered a job, and so I was not given the agreement.  I was told that regardless when I started working for Publix, I was currently not eligible.  My argument was that having that information presented to me, my decisions would have been different, considering I was unemployed and I had just received my tax bill for the year for my house (which was still high from the inflated value of my property from the housing boom) and the need for health coverage.

I was given a copy of a summary plan of the agreement by a friend who also worked for the company and who was also eligible to receive severance.  In the severance agreement, there was another clause that would disqualify you from receiving benefits if you told anybody about the severance plan or talked badly about Albertsons, so not only did they tell everybody it was "in the mail", but they also barred those from receiving one from telling those who didn't what the plan contained.  What was interesting was that in the severance plan was also instructions about the administering of the plan, which stated that the plan would have to be given out prior to termination, which Albertsons had effectively failed to do for the over 5000 employees (which I am sure was done conveniently to help avoid pay out of even more plans). 

I was told that I would have to appeal the decision by Albertsons by writing a letter to their main human resources department.  I had done so, citing several violations of their own severance agreement, as well as particular federal law which outlines the disclosure of information when regarding severance plans.  As expected, Albertsons spent over a month to respond.  By then, I had lost all insurance coverage for myself and my wife, as well as eligibility, which complicates the matter further because of preexisting conditions.  I had finally received a response in December, 3 months after my termination, in which a head of Albertsons' human resources department, a lawyer, cited the incorrect information used to deny me in the first place and ignored all facts that pointed to Albertsons violating their own severance agreement first.

I write this article as a warning because it is only a matter of time before Cerberus Capital Management decides to sell off the rest of their Florida stores, and another group of employees face the Albertsons severance plan. For those people, I had posted the Albertsons severance plan for hourly and salaried store and distribution center employees in my previous post...

Albertsons Severance Plan For Hourly And Salaried Store And Distribution Center Associates




Effective July 30, 2008




The purpose of the Albertson’s LLC Severance Plan for Hourly and Salaried Store and Distribution Center Associates (“Plan”) is to provide Severance Pay and benefits to certain hourly and salaried store and distribution center Eligible Associates of the Company whose employment is involuntarily terminated, where such employment termination is due to certain job restructurings, reductions in force, sale of facilities, or job eliminations, and not due to any other reason, including but not limited to unsatisfactory job performance, misconduct, or voluntary termination by the Associate. When the employment of such Associates is so terminated, the employment relationship shall be completely severed and affected Associates shall have no current or future right to employment on a full-time, part-time, per diem, consulting or other basis.

The Plan is intended to be an “employee welfare benefit plan” as that term is defined in Section 3(1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended. Severance benefits for eligible associates shall be determined exclusively under this Plan unless a separate agreement has been or is reached. All of the corporate policies and practices regarding severance, or similar payments upon employment termination, with respect to associates eligible to participate herein, are hereby superseded by this Plan. Benefits under this Plan are in no way contingent upon retirement under any Company retirement plan.

Capitalized terms shall have the meanings set forth in this Section 2 unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

1. Administrator means Albertson’s LLC, unless another person, committee, firm or corporation is appointed by the Company, which shall perform the duties assigned herein to the Administrator. The Administrator is the “named fiduciary” of the Plan for purposes of ERISA.

2. Company means Albertson’s LLC and its subsidiaries and any business entity which assumes the obligations of the Plan.

3. Covered Reason means an involuntary termination of employment with the Company due to certain job restructurings, reduction in forces, sale of facilities, or job eliminations (and not due to any other reason including, but not limited to, termination for misconduct or unsatisfactory job performance, as determined within the Company’s sole discretion, or voluntary termination by the Associate).

4. Effective Date of the Plan means July 30, 2008.

5. Eligible Associate(s) means any active regular salaried or hourly store or distribution center associate of the Company who has been employed by the Company for at least one year, and meets the eligibility requirements of Sections 2 and 3 hereof. For purposes of this Plan, “Eligible Associate” excludes (a) any individual who has an individual employment or severance agreement with the Company, (b) any individual who is or may become entitled to severance benefits under another severance plan sponsored by the Company, (c) any individual whose terms and conditions of employment are subject to union negotiation or to a collective bargaining agreement, unless such agreement provides for benefits under this Plan, (d) any individual who is an officer, or (e) except as may be otherwise provided by law any individual who is on an approved General Leave of Absence, FMLA leave, worker’s compensation or other medical or disability related leave at the time of the otherwise Covered Reason is not eligible for severance because severance is intended to provide benefits to associates to bridge a gap in active employment following separation from the Company for a Covered Reason, prior to obtaining replacement employment with another employer. If an individual is on an approved leave of absence and his or her employment extends beyond the date of the otherwise Covered Reason, the Company will determine eligibility for severance when the period of approved leave ends.

In addition, to be eligible for benefits under the Plan, an Eligible Associate must sign, timely return and not revoke a personalized Severance and Release Agreement, which includes a complete release of all legally releasable claims he or she may have against the Company, whether these claims currently exist or are based in whole or in part on any events occurring prior to the Effective Date of the Severance and Release Agreement.

6. ERISA means the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended.

7. Participant means an Associate who is notified by the Company that his or her employment is to be involuntarily terminated for a Covered Reason by the Company, with a termination date on or after July 30, 2008, and that the Company has determined to be an Eligible Associate for Severance Pay herein.

8. Pay or Base Pay means the Associate’s regular base salary or wages on the Associate’s Severance Date, excluding all extra pay such as overtime, premiums, bonuses, commissions, living or other allowance. Regular base salary or wages will be determined based on an average of the base salary (for salaried associates) and average hours worked (for hourly associates) during the 10 week period prior to the announcement to the associate of the Covered Reason (not to exceed 40 hours per week). As a separate component of Severance Pay encompassed by the Plan, Store Associates may be entitled to receive a pro-rated bonus, pursuant to the Company’s Store Bonus Plan, subject to the provisions of the Bonus Plan and this Plan. If a special incentive program applies, a pro rated bonus may not be paid out as part of severance, instead the terms of the Bonus Plan regarding special incentives would apply. Distribution Center Participants may be paid a bonus, separate from Severance Pay, based on the terms of the Bonus Plan applicable to such associates.

9. Plan means the Albertson’s LLC Severance Plan for Hourly and Salaried Store and Distribution Center Associates.

10. Plan Year means the period from June 1 through May 31.

11. Severance and Release Agreement means the Severance and Release Agreement provided by the Company to and returned by the Participant to the Company and other matters stated therein. The Severance and Release Agreement shall bind the Participant and the Company.

12. Severance Date means the date established by the Company in its sole discretion as a Participant’s last day of employment.

2.13 Severance Pay means amounts calculated as follows:

If an Eligible Associate has… He or she will receive an amount equal to…
1+ full year(s) of service One week of base pay for each full year of service with a minimum of 2 weeks and a maximum of 12 weeks of base pay for Eligible Hourly Associates. Base pay will be calculated based on Eligible Hourly Associate’s average hours worked (up to 40 hours per week) during the 10 weeks prior to the date he or she is notified of the Covered Reason, multiplied by his or her hourly wage rate. Eligible salaried non-bonus eligible associates may receive a minimum of 3 weeks of base pay and a maximum of 18 weeks of base pay. Eligible salaried bonus eligible associates may receive a minimum of 4, and up to 26, weeks of base pay, calculated over the same 10-week period.
Bonus Eligible Store Associates (who are bonus-eligible at the time of termination) will receive their “Base Bonus,” prorated for the number of weeks in the quarter that the associate actively worked, unless a special incentive applies as described above. Payment will be made at the time of severance payment.

An Eligible Associate’s full Years of Service are calculated from his or her most recent hire or rehire date (not any combined or adjusted hire date), i.e., Years of Service will not be “bridged” or added together. Except as otherwise provided by law, an Associate whose approved leave of absence and employment extend beyond the otherwise Covered Reason will not continue to accrue Years of Service for severance calculation and eligibility purposes beyond the effective date of the covered restructuring, job elimination, facility sale or closure.

14. Successor means any employer (whether or not the employer is affiliated with the Company) which acquires (through merger, consolidation, reorganization, transfer, sublease, assignment, or otherwise) (i) all or substantially all of the business or assets of the Company, of a division of the Company, or of a single facility or business unit of the Company, or (ii) the facility or operation where the Associate usually works. This includes any employer who acquires from the Company any facility, department, or business unit within a 50 mile radius of the facility, department, or business unit where the Associate usually works, whether or not the employer acquires the Associate’s facility. A Successor also includes any employer who acquires the right to lease, staff lease or provide temporary services to the Company for a department, division, facility, operation, or function of the business.

15. Years of Service shall mean the completed 12-month periods during which an Associate has been employed by the Company, including completed 12-month periods at predecessor Albertson’s, Inc., on a continuous basis measured from the Associate’s most recent hire or rehire date (not an adjusted or reinstated hire date). Except as otherwise provided by law, an Associate whose approved leave of absence and employment extend beyond the otherwise Covered Reason will not continue to accrue Years of Service for severance calculation and eligibility purposes beyond the effective date of the covered restructuring, job elimination, facility sale or closure.


1. Eligibility. Subject to all provisions of this Plan, an Associate shall become a Participant if on or after the Effective Date, the Associate is notified by the Company that his or her employment with the Company is to be involuntarily terminated by the Company for a Covered Reason, unless such termination is the result of actions by the Associate which, as determined by the Company in its sole discretion, would normally result in a termination or discharge

The foregoing, to the contrary notwithstanding, the Company reserves the right to determine the applicability or non-applicability of the Plan in its sole and absolute discretion based on the facts and circumstances of each situation and administered in a fair and non-discriminatory manner.

3.2 Payment. A Participant shall be entitled to the Severance Pay set forth in Sections 2 and 4 hereof, if he or she is not and does not become disqualified from receiving Severance Pay pursuant to Section 3.3 hereof.

3.3 Disqualifying Events. A Participant shall not be entitled to the Severance Pay set forth in Sections 2 and 4 hereof, if:

1. He or she fails to return to the Company a properly signed Severance and Release Agreement within the time period specified therein or he or she revokes his or her Severance and Release Agreement within the time period permitted in the Severance and Release Agreement;

2. He or she is notified of a subsequent termination date for his or her employment, and prior to such date, he or she (1) terminates employment voluntarily, (2) fails to properly attend work prior to his or her final day of active work designated by the Company, (3) terminates employment involuntarily for misconduct, as determined solely by the Company, or (4) fails to perform adequately his or her employment duties and responsibilities, all within the sole discretion of the Company;

3. He or she rejects an offer or fails to accept an offer of another position with the Company, a Successor, or any affiliate of the Company on or before his or her termination date. However, he or she may still be eligible for benefits despite rejecting the offer if either (1) His or her new hourly wage rate will be less than 80% of his or her current hourly wage rate, or (2) the new job will require him or her to work in a facility located more than a 50 mile radius from his or her current workplace; or

4. He or she accepts an offer of another position from the Company, a Successor, or any affiliate of the Company regardless of whether the new position has a base hourly wage rate of less than 80% of his or her current hourly wage rate or the new job will require him or her to work in a location more than a 50 mile radius from his or her current workplace; or

5. He or she refuses or fails to cooperate fully in seeking continued employment with the Company or any affiliate, or with a Successor, for example, by not applying for a position, by not cooperating fully and completely in the application or interview process, or in any other way impedes the possibility of him or her obtaining an offer from the Company, its affiliates, or a Successor. He or she must at all times in good faith pursue all alternative employment options defined above to remain eligible for Severance Pay herein.

In addition, should a Participant file any legal claim or suit against the Company, which is validly released or intended to be released under the Severance and Release Agreement, based in whole or in part on events occurring prior to the Effective Date of the Severance and Release Agreement required to receive severance, or if a Participant breaches the Severance and Release Agreement in any way, the Company shall have the legal right to recover repayment from the Participant of all pay and benefits provided to him or her under this Plan, and/or to offset such amounts from any financial liability imposed because of such claim or suit.

It is also a condition of receipt of Severance Payments that a Participant agrees not to directly or indirectly solicit any current (as of the time of the solicitation) Company associate for employment with any other entity for two years from the Effective Date of the Severance and Release Agreement, as allowed by law.

4. Release. Prior to the date the Participant’s employment with the Company will terminate, such Participant will receive a Severance and Release Agreement in a form satisfactory to the Company, substantially in the form attached to this Plan as Exhibit A. If the Participant accepts and agrees to receipt of his or her Severance Pay and benefits as determined, he or she shall execute a personalized version of the Severance and Release Agreement and return it to the Company within the time period specified by the Company following his or her Severance Date. Such Severance and Release Agreement must be timely and appropriately executed by its terms and not revoked for the Participant to qualify for payments and benefits under this Plan.

3.5 Reemployment. By accepting a Severance Payment under the Plan, the Participant agrees not to reapply for employment with the Company or a Successor within six months (or such other period as provided in the Severance and Release Agreement) of the Participant’s Severance Date.


4.1 Amount and Timing. A Participant’s Severance Pay under Sections 2 and 4 hereof shall be the number of weeks of Pay set forth in the Section 2 above, based on such Participant’s status and his or her number of Years of Service. Such Severance Pay shall be paid in one lump sum as soon as administratively practicable after the Participant’s Severance Date, after the Company’s receipt of the Participant’s timely submitted and signed Severance and Release Agreement, and after the seven day period for revoking the Participant’s signature has expired without revocation by the Participant, but in no event later than by the fifteenth day of the third month following the calendar year in which the Participant's Severance Date occurs.

Employment taxes shall be withheld from all severance payments but voluntary deductions shall not be allowed. In addition, any amount payable under Sections 2 and 4 hereof shall be reduced (but not below zero) by any overpayment of wages or payment made as required by government-mandated programs or by any law that requires payment of wages and fringe benefits in lieu of appropriate notice of closing, layoffs or termination of employment.

2. Additional Benefits. The Company will also offer the following additional benefits.

1. Participants shall have the right to continue medical and dental benefits under the continuation health coverage provisions of Title X of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (“COBRA”) after his or her Severance Date, if otherwise eligible and/or, if eligible, may enroll in a Company retiree health plan. To the extent that the Participant is eligible for and elects COBRA coverage, the Company shall cover the premiums or cost of such coverage (excluding IRC section 125 flexible spending accounts and fully-insured medical or dental coverage paid solely by the Participant) on a monthly basis for the lesser of (1) (A) the first 6 months of coverage for Participants who are salaried, or (B) the first 4 months of coverage for Participants who are hourly, or (2) until Participant no longer qualifies to participate, whichever comes first. At the end of the Associate’s Company-paid COBRA coverage, the Associate may continue COBRA coverage at the Associate’s expense or to the extent eligible under the terms of such Plan may elect to participate in the Company’s self-pay retiree health care plan.

2. Store Participants shall have the right to receive, as part of their Severance Pay, a pro-rated bonus for partial bonus periods completed, subject to the terms of the Store Level Bonus Plan and this Plan, unless a special incentive program applies. If a special incentive program applies, a pro rated bonus may not be paid out as part of severance, instead the terms of the Bonus Plan regarding special incentives would apply. Distribution Center Participants may be paid a bonus, separate from Severance Pay, based on the terms of the Bonus Plan applicable to such associates.

4.3 Vacation Pay. Participants shall be paid for normal termination vacation pay and any other earned pay (if any) pursuant to existing Company policy and applicable state law.

4.4 Other Benefit Plans. Benefits under any other benefit plans including, but not limited to, tax-qualified retirement plans, retiree health care plans, medical or dependent care expense accounts, fringe benefit plans, policies, programs, incentives, bonuses, and nonqualified deferred compensation plans sponsored by the Company are governed solely by the terms of those plans, programs or policies. This Plan does not change the eligibility, termination or other provisions for those benefits.

4.5 Offset. The Company further reserves the right to offset the benefits payable under Sections 2 and 4, by any advance, loan or other monies the Participant owes the Company.


5.1 Death. If a Participant dies before receiving all of his or her Severance Pay due under this Plan, such pay will be distributed in one lump sum cash payment to the Participant’s estate.

5.2 Payment after Death. The Administrator may require that any individual or entity purporting to represent a Participant’s estate provide such proof of such status as the Administrator may deem appropriate including, but not limited to, letters testamentary or letters of administration. The Administrator may also require that such individual, as a condition to receiving Severance Pay, agree in a provision to be incorporated in the Severance and Release Agreement, to indemnify and hold harmless the Administrator and such other persons deemed appropriate by the Administrator for any financial responsibility, liability or expense arising out of a claim by another party or parties asserting entitlement to all or part of the benefit payable hereunder. In addition, the Company reserves the right to offset the benefits payable as provided under this Plan.


6.1 Interpretation. The Company shall have sole discretionary authority to interpret, construe, apply and administer the terms of the Plan and to determine eligibility for and the amounts of benefits under the Plan, including interpretation of ambiguous Plan provisions, determination of disputed facts or application of Plan provisions to unanticipated circumstances. The Company’s decision on any such matter shall be final and binding.

6.2 Reporting and Disclosure. The Company shall be the administrator of the Plan for purposes of Section 3(16) of ERISA and shall have responsibility for complying with any ERISA reporting and disclosure rules applicable to the Plan for any Plan Year. The Administrator may at any time delegate to any other named person or body, or reassume therefrom, any of its fiduciary responsibilities (other than trustee responsibilities as defined in Section 405(c)(3) of ERISA) or administrative duties with respect to this Plan.

6.3 Service Providers. The Administrator may contract with one or more persons to render advice or services with regard to any responsibility it has under this Plan.

6.4 Rules. Subject to the limitations of this Plan, the Administrator shall from time to time establish such rules for the administration of this Plan as the Administrator may deem desirable.


7.1 If a Participant believes he or she has not been provided with Severance Pay benefits due under the Plan, then the Participant may file a request for benefits under this procedure with the Senior Vice President, Human Resources for Albertson’s LLC, or his or her delegate, within ninety (90) days after the date the Participant believes he or she should have received such benefits. If a Participant makes such a request for benefits under the Plan and that claim is denied, in whole or in part, the Administrator shall notify the Participant of the adverse determination within ninety (90) calendar days unless the Administrator determines that special circumstances require an extension of time for processing. If the Administrator determines that an extension of time is necessary, written notice shall be furnished to the claimant prior to the end of the initial ninety (90) day period and the extension shall not exceed ninety (90) days from the original ninety (90) day period. The extension notice shall indicate the special circumstances requiring an extension and the date by which the Administrator expects to render a determination.

The Administrator shall notify the Participant of the specific reasons for the denial with specific references to pertinent Plan provisions on which the denial is based and shall notify the Participant of any additional material or information that is needed to perfect the claim and explanation of why such material or information is necessary. At that time the Participant will be advised of his or her right to appeal that determination, and given an explanation of the Plan’s review and appeal procedure including time limits, and a statement regarding the Participant’s right to bring a civil action under ERISA section 502(a) following an adverse determination or appeal.

7.2 A Participant may appeal the determination or denial by submitting a letter to the Administrator within sixty (60) calendar days after receiving a denial notice:

(a) requesting a review by the Administrator of the claim;

(b) setting forth all of the grounds upon which the request for review is based and any facts in support thereof; and

(c) setting forth any issues or comments which the Participant deems relevant to the claim.

The Participant may submit written comments, documents, records and other information relating to his claim. Upon request, the Participant may obtain free of charge, copies of all documents and records relevant to his claim.

7.3 The Administrator shall act upon the appeal taking into account all comments, documents, records and other information submitted by the Participant without regard to whether such information was submitted or considered in the initial benefit determination and shall render a decision within sixty (60) days or one hundred twenty (120) days in special circumstances after its receipt of the appeal. If the Administrator determines that an extension of time is necessary, written notice of the extension shall be furnished to the Participant prior to the end of the initial sixty (60) day period. The extension notice shall indicate the special circumstances requiring an extension of time and the date by which the Administrator expects to render a determination.

The Administrator shall review the claim and all written materials submitted by the Participant, and may require him or her to submit, within ten (10) days of its written notice, such additional facts, documents, or other evidence as the Administrator in its sole discretion deems necessary or advisable in making such a review. On the basis of its review, the Administrator shall make an independent determination of the Participant’s eligibility for benefits and the amount of such benefits under the Plan. The decision of the Administrator on any claim shall be final and conclusive upon all persons if supported by substantial evidence.

If the Administrator denies a claim on review in whole or in part, it shall give the Participant written notice of its decision setting forth the following: (a) the specific reasons for the denial and specific references to the pertinent Plan provisions on which its decision was based; (b) notice that the Participant may obtain free of charge, copies of all documents, records and other information relevant to the Participant’s claim; and (c) a statement of the Participant’s right to bring a civil action under section 502(a) of ERISA.

7.4 A Participant or his or her legal representative may challenge any final appeal decision by filing an action in a federal court of competent jurisdiction, provided that such action is filed no later than ninety (90) days after receipt of a final decision by the Participant or his or her legal representative.

7.5 A Participant is responsible for ensuring that the Company and the Plan Administrator have on file his or her current address for purposes of receipt of written communication regarding the plan.


8.1 Funding. The benefits and costs of this Plan shall be paid by the Company out of its general assets.

8.2 ERISA Status. This Plan is intended to be an “employee welfare benefit plan,” as defined in Section 3(1), Subtitle A of Title 1 of ERISA. The Plan will be interpreted to effectuate this intent. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Plan, no Associate shall receive hereunder any payment exceeding twice that Associate’s annual compensation during the year immediately preceding the termination of his service, within the meaning of 29 C.F.R. Section 2510.3-2, as the same was in effect on the Effective Date of this Plan.


The Company reserves the right to amend this Plan, in whole or in part, or discontinue or terminate the Plan; provided, however, that any such amendment, discontinuance or termination shall not affect any right of any Participant to claim benefits under the Plan or as in effect prior to such amendment, discontinuance or termination, for events occurring prior to the date of such amendment, discontinuance or termination. An amendment to this Plan, and/or resolution of discontinuance or termination, may be made by the Administrator, to the extent permitted by resolution of the Board of Directors.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Company has caused its officer, duly authorized by its Board of Directors, to execute the Plan effective as of the 30th day of July, 2008.





In consideration for the payment to me of [insert amount spelled out] And 00/100 Dollars ($___________) (which reflects the gross amount of severance pay reduced by applicable taxes, offsets and appropriate withholdings) (“Severance Pay”), I, _______________, hereby voluntarily make the following promises and agree to the terms of this Severance and Release Agreement (“Agreement”), intending to be legally bound by them.

1. I hereby release Albertson’s LLC and New Albertson’s, Inc. (“Company”) and its parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, and their respective Successors, assigns, officers, directors, employees, agents, insurers, attorneys, associates, trusts, and anyone else who may be claimed to be liable through them (collectively “the Released Parties”) from any and all claims, actions, and causes of action, including but not limited to claims arising out of my employment with and/or termination from the Company and claims based on express or implied contract, covenants of fair dealing and good faith, wrongful discharge, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, as amended (“ADEA”), the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”), and any other applicable federal, state, or local laws, ordinances, and regulations relating in any way to my employment. However, I understand that I retain the legal right to challenge the validity of my agreement to release age discrimination claims under this Agreement, despite any language in this Agreement which may be read to the contrary.

I specifically intend this release of legal claims to be as broad and as comprehensive with respect to current and existing, or future claims which may arise after my signature hereon, as state and federal or other law will allow. This Agreement also covers all legal claims of the sort referenced above which may arise or mature in the future, if any legal or factual element of such claim(s) arose prior to the effective date of this release, or if any such claim in any way relates to my employment with the Company, regardless of whether or not such claim is known or unknown, or has matured or is accruing, at the time this Agreement becomes effective.

I specifically promise and covenant, in consideration of this Agreement, not to sue the Company with respect to any legal claim covered and validly released by this Agreement. I agree that if I file a released legal claim of any sort against the Company, based in whole or in any part on events occurring prior to my signature on this Agreement, the Company, at its option, may:

a. File a claim or suit against me for full payment of all amounts paid under this Agreement, or

b. Offset any financial damages or settlement because of such claim or suit by the amounts paid under this Agreement, and/or

c. Be entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees and costs if such claim or suit is determined by the applicable tribunal to be validly released or unmeritorious.

With respect to any legal claim or suit that may not be subject to a legal and binding release under this Agreement, I specifically waive any monetary damages with respect to such claim or suit.

This Agreement is intended to waive any and all claims of age discrimination under federal, state, or local law.

The terms of this Agreement will not be effective until the seven (7) day revocation period (outlined in Paragraph 9 below) expires.

2. Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as an admission of liability by the Company; rather, I am voluntarily resolving any and all matters regarding my employment and separation from the Company.
3. Without the express prior written consent of the Company, I agree that I shall never disclose, communicate, divulge, furnish, make accessible to any person, firm, partnership, corporation or other entity, or use for my own benefit or purposes, any information of a confidential or proprietary nature obtained from or pertaining to the Company, its assets or business, including but not limited to information concerning the Company’s current or future proposed business plans, processes, operational methods, consumer lists, trade secrets, suppliers, employees’ personnel files and compensation, financial affairs or marketing strategies (“Confidential Information”). I further agree that I have delivered, or will deliver simultaneously with the signing of this Agreement, to my location manager, human resources representative, or loss prevention manager all Confidential Information in my possession, as well as Company property provided to me or in my possession, including but not limited to keys, badges, laptops, Company credit cards, cell phones and other electronic devices.
4. I shall cooperate with and assist the Company (including making myself available at reasonable times and places), without further compensation, so as to aid the Company in connection with any matters related to my employment by the Company or about which I am knowledgeable; provided, however, my cooperation with such matters shall not interfere unreasonably with my subsequent employment or personal obligation, if any.
5. I agree not to directly or indirectly solicit any current (as of the time of the solicitation) Company associate for employment with any other entity for two years from the effective date of this Agreement, as allowed by law. I acknowledge that the payment in Paragraph 1 hereof is specific consideration for this non-solicitation agreement and is in addition to anything to which I am otherwise entitled. If this non-solicitation agreement is in violation of any applicable law, I alternatively agree to not solicit such associates to the full extent allowed by any applicable law. I also agree not to (i) apply for re-employment with the Company or any affiliate of the Company for a period of six months from the date of my termination; or (ii) if the location was purchased by another entity, apply for employment with the locations that were purchased from the Company by this entity for a period of six months from the date of my termination.
6. I further agree that I will not directly or indirectly, in my own name or anonymously, in public or in private, in any form of communication, including but not limited to oral, written, or electronic, deprecate, impugn, disparage, or make any remarks that would tend to or be construed to tend to defame the Company or any of its employees, members of its board of directors or agents, nor shall I assist any other person, firm or company in so doing.
7. I acknowledge that the offer of consideration contained in this Agreement is contingent upon my compliance with the terms described herein. I understand and agree that if the Company believes that I am in violation of the terms of this Agreement, either before or after signing below, the Company retains the right to cease providing payments or otherwise carrying out the terms of the Agreement. Further, I acknowledge and agree that if I violate the terms of this Agreement, the Company shall have the right to recover any amounts paid under this Agreement, including the value of any benefits provided, attorneys fees and costs, in addition to any other rights the Company may have at law or in equity.
8. I acknowledge that I am hereby advised in writing by the Company to consult with an attorney of my choice prior to executing this Agreement.
9. I acknowledge that I have been provided the notice attached hereto as Exhibit A, which contains information regarding the class, unit or group of individuals eligible to participate in the Company’s severance plans, including any eligibility factors for participation in such plan, any time limits applicable to such plans, the job titles and ages of all individuals eligible or selected for participation in such plans and the ages of all individuals in the same job classification or organizational unit who are not eligible or selected to participate in such plans. I also acknowledge that I am hereby advised in writing by the Company that I have been given forty-five (45) calendar days in which to consider the terms of this Agreement before signing it. I understand that I waive the remainder of the 45-day consideration period if I sign and return this Agreement before the end of the 45-day consideration period. I also understand that I may revoke this Agreement anytime within seven (7) days of signing it. I must contact, in writing, the Company’s Benefits Department at 250 Parkcenter Blvd., Boise, ID 83726 or at fax number 208-395-4879 to revoke this Agreement.
10. Effective Date. The terms of this Agreement will not be effective until the seven (7) day revocation period in Paragraph 9 hereof expires.
11. I acknowledge that the Severance Pay is consideration in addition to anything of value to which I am already entitled, and is not unconditionally required to be paid as a term and condition of my employment with the Company, but rather is paid solely and exclusively in consideration of my commitments under this Agreement, including specifically the full release of claims in Paragraph 1 hereof.

This Agreement will be governed by the laws of Idaho without regard to conflict-of-laws principles and to the extent not preempted by federal law. Any action contesting the application, enforcement, or interpretation of this Agreement must be litigated in the federal district courts of the state of my employment with the Company.

I have signed this Agreement freely and voluntarily and not because of any deception or coercion. I understand the terms of this Agreement and agree that they are fair and equitable.

12. I agree to keep the terms of this Agreement confidential and to not disclose them except to my attorney and/or personal advisors who have a need to know or if required by law or a court of competent jurisdiction, who will likewise be bound by this confidentiality requirement.
13. Subject to Paragraph 1 hereof, if any provision of this Agreement or the application of any provision hereof to any person or circumstance shall be determined under applicable law to be invalid, unenforceable, or otherwise illegal, the remainder of this Agreement and the application of such provision to any other person or circumstance will not be affected, and the provision so held to be invalid, unenforceable, or otherwise illegal will be reformed to the extent (and only to the extent) necessary to make it valid, enforceable or legal.
14. This Agreement is a fully-integrated agreement and constitutes the entire agreement between the parties as to the subject matter thereof.
15. I agree that if I breach this Agreement in any way, I am obligated to repay the Company all amounts previously paid to me under Paragraph 1 above, plus the Company’s attorneys’ fees and costs.



Signature of Associate Date of Associate’s Signature


Name of Associate Last Day of Employment

Social Security Number

If Associate is a Minor or is otherwise incapable of making a knowing waiver of claims, please note the name of the Associate’s Parent/Guardian and sign on the Minor’s behalf, approving the Severance and Release Agreement.


_________________________ ________________________
Name of Parent/Guardian Signature of Parent/Guardian


Date of Parent/Guardian’s Signature